Substitutes for velvet and lame
by Ruth Nelson
(Seattle, WA, USA)
Velvet is gorgeous but hard to sew AND creates a lot of bulk in dolls clothes. Consider using the microfiber fabric called (in many places) doeskin. It looks suedelike/velvety on the front and knitlike on the back. It gives a velvet look but with many advantages: 1) much easier to sew; 2) does NOT fray in the slightest so edges don't need to be finished; 3) is completely washable.
For shinier fabric, consider cotton lame. I've found it in quilt shops and places like fabric.com. It cuts and sews like cotton but has a shinier dressier look to it which allows you to make fancier clothes but without the nuisance of real lame or metallics which can be tricky to sew and can fray. It is not totally cotton. You have to use a cooler iron, but it looks nice and finishes nicely and is washable.